TAN SRI Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, one of Malaysia’s most successful and renowned businessmen and the founder of Berjaya Group, has a liking for posh hotels and continues to invest in them.
Early this year, Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) said it is investing about US$400 million (RM1.64 billion), inclusive of land cost, to build Okinawa’s most outstanding property — Okinawa Four Seasons and Private Residences Okinawa.
The gross development value (GDV) of Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa is expected to be US$1 billion.
The development is being carried out on some 40ha of beachfront land, located along the western coast of the island of Okinawa. It will comprise 120 hotel rooms, 120 residences and 40 villas on a 12ha of the project development land area and would take about four years to complete.
Tan had said that Okinawa Four Seasons would “set a new standard”.
This is Tan’s second Four Seasons project in Japan. The first is Four Seasons Hotel and Hotel Residences in Kyoto, which opened in December 2016.
It had been reported that Tan is mulling to sell the Kyoto hotel for about US$700 million to US$800 million, which translates to a gain of US$400 million.
Last week BCorp’s subsidiary, Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand), announced that it was buying a 75 per cent stake in Icelandair Hotels for US$53.63 million.
Icelandair Hotels is Iceland’s premier hotel chain, and the trusted source for comfortable, affordable accommodations for visitors and locals alike since 1966.
It operates 20 hotels across Iceland (1,811 rooms), which have an enterprise value of US$136 million.
In addition, the hotelier will open a new 145-room hotel at Austurvollur Square in Reykjavik’s Parliament district in collaboration with Hilton Hotels next year.
The total size of the company’s real estate is 17,738 sq m and includes Hilton Canopy Reykjavik, Icelandair Hotel Akureyri, Icelandair Hotel Myvatn and Icelandair Hotel Herad.
Last year, the revenue of Icelandair Hotels was US$97 million. Its aggregate earnings before interests, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of the hotel operations amounted to US$12 million.
Tan, who is BCorp executive chairman, said the investment in Icelandair Hotels was at a low entry cost, with an average cost/price of about US$75,096 per room.
“We look forward to working with the Icelandair Group. I believe this investment represents a good long-term value for Berjaya Group,” he said in a statement.
The acqusition included a put and call option on the remaining 25 per cent and BLand said the completion of the transaction is set for year-end.
According to Tan, the Iceland deal will complement BLand’s existing portfolio of 19 city and resort hotels located in Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, Sri Lanka, Seychelles and the United Kingdom.
The Berjaya chain of hotels and resorts include one of Tan’s all-time favourite asset, Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur.